Submitted to: Pear International Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/18/2007
Publication Date: 5/22/2007
Citation: Elkins, R.B., Turner, J.D., Castagnoli, S., Seavert, C.F., Mitcham, E.J., Biasi, W.V., Colonna, A., Bell, R.L. 2007. Evaluation of potential alternative varieties for U.S. west coast pear growers. Pear International Symposium, May 22-26, 2007, Consolacao, Portugal. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: California, Oregon, and Washington produced 97% of the commercial U.S. pear crop from 2003-2005, consisting of 50% of 'Bartlett' ('Williams'), 36% of 'Anjou', 11% of 'Bosc', and 2% of others, mainly 'Comice', 'Red Clapp's Favorite', 'Seckel', and 'Concorde'. Declining processing demand has heightened interest and evaluation of new fresh market alternatives. Production, post-harvest quality, and consumer sensory evaluation data from 2001 to 2006 has resulted in identifying several new potentially commercially valuable cultivars. Among the most favorably rated candidates are fire blight resistant selections developed by Dr. Richard Bell at the USDA-ARS, Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville, West Virginia. These are 'Blake's Pride' (US 66131-021), US 71655-014, and 'Sunrise' (US 66170-047), which both bloom and harvest before or with 'Bartlett'. 'Blake’s Pride' trees yield consistently, but dry weather is required for optimum fruit finish. 'Sunrise' trees are also productive and fruit maintains a clear finish. Also promising is Cinnamon (Fowler Nurseries, Inc., Newcastle, CA, USA), a fully-russeted sport of 'Bartlett' which blooms before or with 'Bartlett' but harvests about two weeks later in California. Fruit size of 'Coscia' is small for the U.S. market. 'Abate Fetel' and 'Concorde' have been difficult to ripen in California, and 'Concorde' has shown some internal browning after one month of storage. Yields and fruit size have generally been higher on rootstock P. betulaefolia than on OHxF 97 due to higher vigor, however, the latter is more precocious.